The Iceland Ocean Cluster’s mission is to create value and discover new opportunities by connecting entrepreneurs, businesses and knowledge in the marine industries.

150% growth in startups

New analysis by the Iceland Ocean Cluster shows 150% increase in the number of blue startups in Iceland between 2011 and 2021.  The analysis indicates growth in nutraceutical and various health products from the ocean, seaweed startups, food tech and other food related startups, fish farms and ocean environment. We need more marine biotechs but their numbers have not increased as much as we would have liked. Due to high demand for engineers among the few and fast growing food processing tech companies, it seems as number of startups in that field have slowed.

Cooling equipment experiment in Sierra Leone’s fishing boats

The icelandic company Ocean Excellence is one of the first spinoffs from the Iceland Ocean Cluster. The company is a collaboration between Samey, tech company, Mannvit, engineering company,and Haustak, fish drying factory, led by The Iceland Ocean Cluster and Mr. Páll Gíslason, an engineer, led to a new and exciting new cooling method on board small boats in developing countries.

Ocean Excellence ehf. has received a two million ISK pre-exploration grant from the MFA´s Sustainable Developmet Goal Fund for refrigeration equipment´s experiments in Sierra Leon´s fishing boats. Cooling is a key element in maintaining maximum quality throughout the value chain, from the time a fish is pulled from the sea until it reaches the consumer’s table.

In most developing countries, a large part of the catch of coastal fisheries is lost or damaged due to a lack of cooling, and as a result, great value is lost. The project of Ocean Excellence ehf. has the goal of solving this problem throughout the value chain, but the project initially focuses on its first stage, the cooling on board boats and on landing sites.

A solar-powered heat pump for cooling salt water can be placed in a simple plastic tub, according to Dr. Thór Sigfússon, Chairman of the Board of Ocean Excellence ehf. “The equipment is intended, among other things, for use where conditions or weak infrastructure prevent the cooling of fish in a traditional way. This is the case, for example, in Sierra Leone, but the technology improves both the utilization and value of the fish products,” he says, adding that the project is being carried out in collaboration with the World Bank and the West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme.

The project supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in a number of ways, including climate action by reducing carbon footprints, better access to natural resources, innovation, the fight against hunger and poverty, and the promotion of equality.

Ocean academy

Are you interested in studying about the blue economy? Now you can jump start a career in the blue economy in Iceland; a country that is a global leader in everything relating to fish.

The Ocean Academy is offering a seminar in the winter (starts January 14th 2021) which focuses on innovation and startups in seafood related industries, how to increase value in various types of fish species, from whitefish to crustacean shells. This seminar provides the student with a strong overview of innovation and opportunities in seafood related industries and sustainable ocean activities.

We hope this seminar will make you better positioned to gain employment in this competitive field.  With the seminar, which is held in the Ocean Cluster House in Iceland, you also have an opportunity to get an insight into the workings of an ocean cluster and how to setup a cluster in your own region.

Sign up below.

Practical information

  • The seminar starts January 14th and ends with graduation April 18th.
  • We have a special introductory prize now of 1.500$ USD. (does not include housing, accommodation or transportation)
  • The seminar is held in the Ocean Cluster House in downtown Reykjavík.

For more information please contact our project manager Sara Guðmundsdóttir via email

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